Andrew Altman is new planning czar

Jan. 27

New Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter continues to round out his cabinet, today appointing Andrew Altman as Philadelphia’s new Director of Commerce and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The job title is unprecedented and won immediate praise from the city’s planning and design communities.

“ I am truly honored to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to answer Mayor Nutter’s call to service and put my experience in both the private and public sectors, and in cities across the United States, to work in my hometown where my passion for building cities all began,” Altman said. 

Altman, the former CEO of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, has been engaged in private sector work after years of significant public service.

“As a native Philadelphian who has led large-scale development projects including the successful economic redevelopment of Washington, DC, Andrew will bring unparalleled experience and perspective to the Commerce Department,” said Nutter.  “I am incredibly pleased that he answered my call to service and returned home to aid in the economic growth of Philadelphia.”

Altman served for five years as the planning director for Washington D.C. under Mayor Anthony A. Williams, and was appointed the first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation founded to guide the ambitious regeneration of the National Capital waterfront. The initiative to reclaim the waterfront of Washington D.C. has been nationally recognized by the American Institute of Architects, the American Planning Association, Places Magazine (ERDA award) and the American Society of Landscape Architects as one of the most innovative urban redevelopment initiatives in the United States.

“Mayor Nutter’s selection of Andrew Altman as the Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development, tells me that this admistration is committed to a balance between visionary planning and real world economic development.  Andy’s world-class experience coupled with his Philadelphia roots will help Mayor Nutter build on the positive growth Philadelphia has seen in the past decade or so, in making it a city of choice for people and businesses,” says Nando Micale, a Principal with Philadelphia based planning and design firm of Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC.  Micale’s firm worked with Mr. Altman on the Anacostia Waterfront Intiaitive, while he was DC’s planning director in the 1990s.

Altman was also appointed a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution Center for Metropolitan Policy where he worked on the development of a new “Transformative Agenda for Cities” as well as international initiatives on urban development.

Altman has been the recipient of fellowships including the German Marshall Fund Fellowship, the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Lady Davis Fellowship at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Mr. Altman holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT.

Altman’s appointment brings the Commerce Department, formerly headed by Stephanie Naidoff, and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, which was led by Janice Woodcock, under one roof. 

Contact Matt Golas at

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